Tag Archive | Neal Smith

Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” Among 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame Inductees

Alice Cooper Full Band
Image Source

Legendary rock anthem “Schools’ Out” by the original band called Alice Cooper is among the inductee recordings for the 2015 Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.

(Below Courtesy of Christopher Morris, Variety Dot Com)

The 27 new inductees, which cut across the entire spectrum of musical genres, brings the total list of Hall of Fame titles (both albums and single recordings) to 987. Each year a special member committee determines a group of recordings, at least 25 years old, which exhibit qualitative or historical importance.

Hall of Fame titles are displayed in an interactive exhibit at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A. This year’s inductees will be commemorated in a collector’s edition book that will also focus on the Grammy Foundation’s Grammy Camp program and its preservation and archiving initiatives.

Recording Academy prexy and CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement, “This year’s Grammy Hall Of Fame entries not only represent a diverse collection of influential and historically significant recordings but also reflect the changing climate of music through the decades. These memorable, inspiring and iconic recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog — knowing that they have become a part of our musical, social, and cultural history.”

The complete list of 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees (listed alphabetically by song title):

“AUTOBAHN”
Kraftwerk
Vertigo (1974)
Album

“BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY”
The 4 Seasons
(Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio)
Vee-Jay (1962)
Single

“BLOOD ON THE TRACKS”
Bob Dylan
Columbia (1975)
Album

“THE BRIDGE”
Sonny Rollins
RCA Victor (1962)
Album

“CALYPSO”
Harry Belafonte
RCA Victor (1956)
Album

“DANCING QUEEN”
ABBA
(Benny Anderson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus)
Atlantic (1976)
Single

“HARVEST”
Neil Young
Reprise (1972)
Album

“HONKY TONKIN’”
Hank Williams And His Drifting Cowboys
(Hank Williams)
Sterling (1947)
Single

“I FOUGHT THE LAW”
Bobby Fuller Four
(Sonny Curtis)
Mustang (1965)
Single

“JITTERBUG WALTZ”
“Fats” Waller, His Rhythm And His Orchestra
(“Fats” Waller)
Bluebird/RCA (1942)
Single

“JOHN PRINE”
John Prine
Atlantic (1971)
Album

“LE FREAK”
Chic
(Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards)
Atlantic (1978)
Single

“NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS, HERE’S THE SEX PISTOLS”
Sex Pistols
Warner Bros. (1977)
Album

“NICK OF TIME”
Bonnie Raitt
Capitol (1989)
Album

“RESCUE ME”
Fontella Bass
(Raynard Miner, Carl Smith)
Checker (1965)
Single

“SAN ANTONIO ROSE”
Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys
(Bob Wills)
Vocalion (1939)
Single

“SCHOOL’S OUT”
Alice Cooper
(Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith)
Warner Bros. (1972)
Single

“THE SHAPE OFJAZZ TO COME”
Ornette Coleman
Atlantic (1959)
Album

“SIXTY MINUTE MAN”
The Dominoes
(Billy Ward, Rose Marks)
Federal (1951)
Single

“SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN”
Leonard Cohen
Columbia (1967)
Album

“STAND!”
Sly And The Family Stone
Epic (1969)
Album

“STARDUST”
Willie Nelson
Columbia (1978)
Album

“SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT”
Fisk Jubilee Singers
(Wallis Willis)
Victor (1909)
Single

“SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT”
Paul Robeson
(Wallis Willis)
Victor (1926)
Single

“TELL IT LIKE IT IS”
Aaron Neville
(George Davis, Lee Diamond)
Par Lo (1966)
Single

“TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS”
Otis Redding
(Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Harry M. Woods)
Volt (1966)
Single

“WALK ON THE WILD SIDE”
Lou Reed
(Lou Reed)
RCA Victor (1972)
Single

Recommended Viewing: Super Duper Alice Cooper

Super Duper Alice Cooper Poster

I’m going to assume that everyone reading this not only knows who Alice Cooper is, but is also aware that “Alice Cooper” was originally the name of a band with five guys in it. If you don’t know that much, you need to do your homework. Aside from getting your hands on Bob Greene’s long out of print book, Billion Dollar Baby, this film is as good a place as any to get schooled.

Although many only know Alice Cooper as an individual solo artist and Pop Culture icon, there are legions of devoted fans who are deeply dedicated to the music, history and memory of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted original band called Alice Cooper – a group that recorded seven groundbreaking gold and platinum-selling albums of original material and set single concert attendance World Records before disbanding in late 1974. For that latter group, let me speculate now that there will never be a better-made, more authentic public vehicle for telling the story of that original band, in as close to the ‘true story’ as possible, than this film. If the statement “Alice Cooper was a Band” resonates with you, then there is no way you will want to miss seeing this film.

Super Duper Alice Cooper is a highly entertaining documentary that aims to tell the life story of Vincent Furnier, the lead singer of the band Alice Cooper, who took the name as his own when the group disbanded. Vince/Alice’s story is told via first person voice over and vintage interview clips with Alice, but Alice Cooper band bassist Dennis Dunaway (whom Furnier met in high school) and drummer Neal Smith, who joined the band when they were still called The Nazz, also contribute to its engaging narrative. Furnier’s early days playing in local Phoenix bands with Dunaway and AC co-founder and lead guitarist, the late Glen Buxton are discussed in fairly minute detail, so you get a really good idea of the struggle that these guys went through on their way to becoming the biggest band in the world. Oddly, rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter, Michael Bruce is never mentioned by name even once in the film.

The most enjoyable parts of the film, for me, were the up-and-coming story of the band, its transition into becoming Alice Cooper, and the insane live performance footage, 90 percent which I would guess has never been shown in public before. It is one thing to read about how the band Alice Cooper invented Shock Rock, but it is an entirely different animal to see it play out before your eyes. No wonder that fans who were lucky enough to see the band live 40 years ago still talk about those shows to this day.

I’d say that a good 80 percent of Super Duper Alice Cooper is dedicated the formation and disintegration of the band (and holy shit, what a great fucking band they were), with the other 20 percent covering Alice’s budding solo career, alcoholism, cocaine addiction and recovery. So, there’s something for everyone. Consult Google to find a showing in your area, or wait for the DVD release. Either way, you gotta see this film.

The Worley Gig Gives Super Duper Alice Cooper 5 out of 5 Stars!

Trailer for New Alice Cooper Band Documentary



Super Duper Alice Cooper is a new documentary film due for release in the Spring of 2014 that will be previewed at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC in April. While the film’s storyline seems to be based on Alice’s time fronting the band from whom he would eventually take his name as a solo artist, it appears, sadly, that it also focuses fairly tightly on the myth and legend of Alice (AKA Vince Furnier) as an individual, rather than on the story of the band which was made up of five individuals. Not that the filmmaker isn’t allowed to make the film he wants, if he wants to just focus on Alice. But it’s like every time somebody refers to the band called Alice Cooper as a “He” it just makes me want to scream. And this is kind of more of the same. Alice Cooper was a band.

I have heard that Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith, as well as producer, Bob Ezrin were interviewed for the film although there are no on camera appearances. But at least fans will get to see classic performance footage of the original band including Dennis, Neal, Michael Bruce and the late Glen Buxton. This would be my main motivation for seeing the film.

B$B ACG
Alice Cooper Was a Band

Classic Alice Cooper Album Billion Dollar Babies To Be Released On Hybrid SACD On February 4, 2014!

B$B Dollar Bill

Alice Cooper fans worldwide rejoice! Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity is releasing “…one of the best rock ‘n’ roll records of all time” – the band called Alice Cooper’s classic album Billion Dollar Babies on Hybrid SACD (Super Audio CD) on February 4, 2014! As a bonus, along with the meticulously reproduced artwork, enclosed in every CD is the very collectible replicated Billion Dollar Bill that was Included in each original vinyl album.

With Billion Dollar Babies, the band called Alice Cooper refined the raw grit of their earlier work in favor of a slightly more polished sound, resulting in a mega-hit album that reached the top of the US and UK album charts. It’s impossible to overstate how popular the band had become by the time their sixth album was released. The album is brilliant, decadent and encapsulated all the celebrity trashiness of the ‘70s only three years into the decade.

Song for song, Billion Dollar Babies is probably the original Alice Cooper group’s finest and strongest work. The album’s singles “Elected,” “Hello Hooray,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” all became hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Also included are a pair of perennial concert standards – the disturbing necrophilia ditty “I Love the Dead” and the chilling macabre of “Sick Things.”

After the album was released, the band embarked on a tour which broke the US box office records previously held by The Rolling Stones. The show climaxed with a guillotine execution of Alice. The album and the tour made the band into the world’s preeminent pied pipers of teenage trash culture and the most successful rock band ever to be loathed by American parents.

“Other than the original ‘Alice Cooper Band’ being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2011, our second biggest achievement was when our album Billion Dollar Babies went to Number #1 in all three music trade magazines at the same time in April of 1973. Number #1 in Billboard, Number #1 in Record World and Number #1 in Cash Box. We had hoped it would sell Gold or Platinum as a follow up to the success of our album School’s Out, but a Number #1 album was something that was totally unexpected. Over the years the title track “Billion Dollar Babies” has become my signature song because of the recognizable drum intro.”

- Neal Smith, Alice Cooper drummer and founding member

“I remember we were out on the road when the album finally came out in February 1973. I listened to it in my hotel room and just got this really big smile. I was thinking, ‘It’s amazing, we’re really pulling this off’. The album was very, very unique and very, very different. I was really proud of the songs, especially ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ and ‘Generation Landslide’.”

- Michael Bruce, Alice Cooper guitarist/keyboardist and founding member

TRACKS:
1. Hello Hooray
2. Raped and Freezin’
3. Elected
4. Billion Dollar Babies
5. Unfinished Sweet
6. No More Mr. Nice Guy
7. Generation Landslide
8. Sick Things
9. Mary-Ann
10. I Love the Dead

Produced by Bob Ezrin, Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.

To purchase, visit This Link.

B$B SACD

Pink Thing of The Day: Neal Smith Vintage Premier Drum Ad!

Neal Smith Pink Premier Ad
Image Courtesy of Neal Smith

Currently Up for Auction on eBay: This vintage (circa 1973) Premier Drum Ad ran in all of the popular music magazines during the global Billion Dollar Babies tour featuring the original band called Alice Cooper. This Ad is signed personally by R&R Hall Of Fame inductee, drummer Neal Smith and is surely a very rare piece of Seventies Glam Rock History. The Auction runs through Monday December 9th, 2013. Bid Now at This Link!

Happy 66th Birthday, Alice Cooper Drummer Neal Smith!

Neal Drums Sepia Tone

I can’t let my good friend Neal’s Birthday slip by without giving him a shout out on the blog! Born on September 23rd, 1947, Neal turns Sixty-Six Years old today and still looks fantastic! Rock On Neal, and have a Billion Dollar Birthday!

Alice Cooper B$B Cake

Rare Video from 1971: Alice Cooper Band Record “The Ballad of Dwight Fry”

Neal Smith, drummer for the original Band called Alice Cooper sent me the link to this video a couple of days ago and told me it was a clip he had never even seen before. Knowing how many fans of that awesome band I have as readers, I knew I had to post this as soon as I could get it together. This clip is especially great because you get to hear Neal and guitarist Michael Bruce have a very candid conversation about whether Neal or bassist Dennis Dunaway will provide the voice of the little girl in the song’s introduction. Neal twirls his sticks a lot and Kachina the snake also makes an appearance! Enjoy!